The Eagles, who ran back Miles Sanders, backed up reports of discord by telling a Philadelphia sports radio station on Tuesday, “If I’m honest, no one made the decision. Nobody.”
“I don’t know who was the main person behind this decision,” Sanders, who missed out on account of a knee injury, told WIP. “I just know that a lot of people on the team were confused.”
Immediately after the 20:14 defeat that denied the Giants the title of division, Pederson responded to speculation that a change of quarterbacks should fuel the game and secure Philadelphia a better draft slot. The fifth-year coach who led the Eagles to a Super Bowl win three years ago also denied any instruction to bench Hurts came from above in the organization.
“Yes, I trained to win and yes, that was my choice,” said Pederson. He added that Sudfeld, a sixth round 2016 Washington draft pick who quickly made two turnovers, “deserves an opportunity to snap a few shots.”
Pederson duplicated those claims in a press conference the next day, suggesting that Sudfeld might move the offense better than Hurts. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday that two unidentified Eagles players had to be “held back” during the game to confront Pederson about his decision.
Although Kelce, who spoke out at length against the idea of fueling last month, was identified by the newspaper and ESPN as an Eagles player questioning his coach directly, the center denied this Wednesday on Instagram, writing that neither he nor his teammates were confrontational be.
Kelce wrote that at the end of the third quarter he was notified that Sudfeld would stand up for Hurts. “I went to Doug and asked him if he was going to take out Hurts and he said,” Yeah, I think Nate earned the right to play. “Kelce said he asked if ‘everyone else is staying’ and after Pederson said yes, Kelce said he went looking for Sudfeld. They started taking snapshots and working with other linemen and Sudfeld to synchronize the snaps .
“At no point was anything of me or anyone else confrontational. We all knew Sudfeld should be ready to play and that Doug wanted to see what he could do in a game situation. All of us in the week ahead of us [to the game] loved Nate, a man who has been with us for four years, to have the opportunity to show the world what he can do in a real game.
“We all have full confidence in Nate as a player. There’s a reason he’s been here for so long and why the team brought him back. And that’s because we feel like Nate is a guy we can win with. “
Kelce admitted that “the look of it” was bad, adding, “I’d be lying if, under the circumstances, I wasn’t a little surprised that the move happened when it happened, but everyone from we did our best and we all believe we can win with Nate Sudfeld.
“It was a difficult situation to get into, especially when you have a 10 year veteran center that doesn’t really take the ball on the second run of the game. I know we can win games with Nate because I know Suddy can play. It didn’t work out on Sunday, but as always, it’s not just his fault. “
The investigator described Hurts as “distraught” about the bank. The rookie quarterback, a second round hit who replaced Carson Wentz as the starter last month, was shown on NBC cameras on the bench and appeared to be saying, “It’s not right.”
However, Pederson has insisted that one of his pre-established goals for the Eagles’ season finale was to get Sudfeld onto the field.
“I had a plan all week and my plan was to get into this number one soccer game to win the soccer game – the bottom line, no doubt,” he told WIP on Monday. “But we also had a number of young players playing in that soccer game and I wanted to see these guys. And Nate, here since 2017, [deserved] the opportunity to play, and that’s how I felt then, to give him the opportunity to play. “
Giants players expressed confusion and disgust at the decision during the game, and their coach, Joe Judge, gave reporters passionate comments on Monday.
“Disregarding the effort everyone has made to make this season a success for the National Football League, disregarding the game by getting out of there and not showing up for 60 minutes and doing everything possible to help those players win to help, “said the judge. “We’ll never do that as long as I’m the head coach of the New York Giants.”
Another Eagles player, Rookie Safety K’V von Wallace, seemed to share Judge’s mindset.
“If it’s not your mentality to win them all,” Wallace tweeted Tuesday, “then what are you playing for?”